Andrew Sheppard’s Steady Your Aim

By Brian Rock

Andrew Sheppard aims to please on his second album, Steady Your Aim. Continuing the authentic and distinctive Americana sound he developed on 2015’s Far From Here, Sheppard steadies his reputation as an artist on the rise. Tempering Outlaw Country with Dylanesque Folk, Andrew Sheppard smooths the rough edges of the former and adds punch to the latter.

“Take A Walk With Me” begins like a lost track from Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde sessions. Folksy acoustic guitar and soulful Hammond organ lay a musical backdrop against which Sheppard waxes poetic about the virtues of leaving the city behind for the pleasures of nature. Singing, “It’s a hell of a world, live it wild and free. Leave the worst behind you now and take a walk with me,” he urges us to get out of our cubicles, be they literal or metaphorical, and behold the natural beauty around us.

Part Steve Earle and part James McMurtry, Sheppard creates evocative, lyrical landscapes with a touch of attitude.

In “Lies As Cheap As Whiskey,” for example, he poetically berates a former lover singing, “You get inside your head and search for some truth. Yet you order another round of lies, 90 proof. And lies as cheap as whiskey are flowing from the bottom shelf, you might as well spend the night alone and drink it by yourself.”

Sheppard even turns his acerbic wit on himself. In “Here At The Bottom,” he revs up the pace with some rowdy Rockabilly guitar chords as he confesses, “I said some things I shouldn’t have said, I let those spirits go straight to my head… Here at the bottom that old saying is true: You have to pay for all that you do.”

Andrew Sheppard shows off his musical diversity as he moves from the straight Country of “Holy Water,” to the anthemic Folk-Rock of “Red Wine & White Roses,” to the touching, Appalachian Blues/Gospel of “Further Away.”

At turns tender and touching, then terse and taunting, Steady Your Aim hits the target with every track.

andrewsheppardmusic.cominta  |  buy

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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